Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Summer Nursery: My Inspiration

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Wertz

I used this image of a vintage decoupaged screen
circa early-to-mid 20th century
to illustrate
my design concept for “The Summer Nursery.”
Screen available through
Vintage and Modern.

Now where were we? Oh yes, I left you yesterday with a glimpse of my proposal for the summer design show at Tapley Hall: Reflecting upon Danvers History through Interior Design, plus some before photos of the large public space that would later be transformed into a series of smaller vignettes by a dozen-or-so design professionals. I had decided that a summer nursery would be fun to put together, and I
had a good idea on how I wanted to do it.

My plan was to create a modern interpretation of the Victorian screen above using decoupaged story book images that I have collected since my children were small. When I was young, my mom made a big impression on me when she decoupaged our refrigerator (I have mentioned this story before, I know!) with clippings from magazines, books, and whatever she could rip out and Mod Podge down. I knew I wanted to create the same type of memory for my own children, using the images from our favorite stories. The most difficult part of this process was locating all of the book jackets that I had saved over the past decade for this very project (they were finally discovered in three different places). I would like to say that my house is completely organized and well-edited, but my storage area could probably be featured on an Oprah show about “not being able to let go of the past. But you know, when I need something, I always have it even if it takes me hours to sift through still-packed boxes from our last move or from new boxes that now store the memories of my own four children. I am working on getting rid of some house clutter this summer, and will report back after a future yard sale, but for now let’s get back to our story ...

While I originally envisioned using a baby crib for my vignette (yes, I still have one and am saving it for someone – other than myself – who may need it someday) I was given a tour of the Danvers Historical Society archives and they had this ...

Could anything be more perfect for a vintage summer nursery??? White wicker, aged yellow linen, delicate ruffles, trimmed with ribbon. So my crib stayed home and this lovely bassinet became the main character of our story. While I was checking out the large collection of vintage treasures donated by Danvers-area families to the historical society’s collection, I saw these
cuties that almost made it into the show ...

Staffordshire Dogs, circa 1850

I put in a request to borrow them for my space, but a few weeks later, while out shopping for finishing touches, I caught sight of a pair of these ...

Doesn’t he look just like Rainbow Fish? This was another bedtime favorite of ours. For the show I hid two of them in my nursery-by-the-sea vignette. Can you find one below and do you recognize any of
the storybook images on the screen?

I will be back later in the week to share more
pictures and ideas. For now, the winner of my
Design Show/Birthday Gift giveaway is

Mary B!

I will be in touch with you soon
to deliver your crown : )


  1. I like this screen as well. Beautiful but I'll bet it took a while to make it.

    I did paint the screen and the bunny painting. I'm going to do a tutorial on the screen soon.

    I'm glad I found your blog - becoming a follower now.


  2. Yvonne, I loved your space. It was so light and airy and perfect for a nursery in the days before air conditioning! You really captured the antique feel and made it look fresh, instead of old!

  3. Hi Yvonne, glad you like the York house today. I loved it too - it was so beautiful and tasteful.


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